Turlock City Council Approves $32.4 Million Budget, Includes $50,000 for Road Maintenance

TurlockCityNews.com

Turlock City Council approved a $32.4 million general fund budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Councilmembers approved the budget on a 4-1 vote, with Councilmember Amy Bublak casting the lone dissenting vote.

The 2014-15 budget, which is up nearly $2 million from last year’s $30.5 million general fund budget, will be spent largely on public safety, said Turlock City Manager Roy Wasden. It includes roughly $1 million in deficit spending, primarily due to one-time equipment replament costs.

The most controversial part of the general fund budget is the inclusion of a matching fund that will allocate general fund dollars to road repairs.

The Turlock City Council set aside $50,000 in matching funds for road maintenance, roughly equal to the City of Turlock’s contribution toward a half-cent sales tax, if it were an average Turlock household. This move marks the first time in decades that the City of Turlock has spent general fund dollars on road maintenance.

Bublak, who voted against the budget, has long voiced dissent to the half-cent sales tax that will go toward roads, which will be on the Nov. 4 ballot. Bublak said the budget should not allocate general fund dollars toward roads until voters decide if they want the road tax or not.

“Roadways are important, but you’re sending a message,” said Bublak. “We’re going to take money out of it (general fund) and we’re going to put it in here (road maintenance). But at the same time, public, why don’t you vote for a roadway tax? The message is kind of murky.”

Councilmember Steven Nascimento said it was time for the City of Turlock to spend some of its own money on the roads.

“I think if we’re asking the residents to put some skin in the game, I think it’s important we put some skin in the game,” said Nascimento.

The approved budget also includes a projected budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year. The 2015-16 budget, however, was not adopted with the approval of the 2014-15 budget.

To view the approved budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year, visit http://ci.turlock.ca.us/,

Comments 15

  1. scott says:

    [Amy Blubak needs to try driving on our beat up roads…..she would change her mind. All the city’s money belongs to the people…..so fix our roads…period!

  2. Joey says:

    To Scott….Its not about “not” fixing the roads, Its about how they are funding it. A tax is not needed. The democrats (Lazar & Brem) want to tax us to death. The city should be putting money aside every year to fix the roads. Where did the money come from to fix Monte Vista Ave? I for one will not support a road tax. Enough taxes!

  3. T says:

    I will not support a tax either, look at the high paying jobs that have been added and bringing back retired employees, one that is making $50.00 per hour….

  4. Jack Newell says:

    Yes, the roads are terrible and something needs to be done. But we do not need an additional tax for it. The General Fund is where road repair funding is supposed to come from. The City of Irvine allocated over $6,000,000 from its General Fund towards road maintenance last year, accounting for more than 4% of the total budget (http://www.ci.irvine.ca.us/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=23367). For Turlock, that same ratio would mean a $1,000,000 contribution each year. I think our money is flying out the window in the name of “public safety” and we need to start showing up to meetings and speaking up.

    Or, we can all realize that we pay pennies in property tax (1% of a cheap house isn’t much) and accept that we will never have roads like Irvine. A tax is not the answer, we already pay taxes. Allocate them appropriately.

  5. Chief Middle Finger says:

    Amen Jack Newell!

  6. Tired of Waiting says:

    I’m tired of waiting for someone else to fix our problems. The City will never be able to fund our roads out of the general fund. Anyone who claims otherwise is uninformed or a liar. The State is going to help us, and neither are the Feds. Its time to take matters into our own hands and invest in our city’s future. I don’t like paying taxes anymore than the next guy, but at least here I know where my money is going and will be able to see it in action.

  7. Joe Small Toes says:

    Dear Tired of Waiting,
    You are thinking like a democrat. Let’s tax our way out instead of fixing the problem so it doesn’t happen again. Start thinking like a Republican and get our cities fiscal house in order. Long Live Ronald Reagan!

  8. Small Toes + Other Small Parts says:

    The anti-tax comments are prime examples of why people elect Bublak in the first place. Have you watched a council meeting and actually listened to what she tries to say. It does NOT make any sense. You can tell when she is reading a script and when she is off-script. Nearly 95% of road repair/maint. funding comes from the state funds, which have been cut over and over by both administrations so quit the name calling. Lazar actually worked in Sacramento at the State Capitol, Brem comes with 30+ years of experiernce and doesn’t have to fluff his resume. That’s why no one takes this website seriously except for Davie. Davie should be leading the charge about the road tax. If a county is NOT a self-help county, no state or federal $$ goes to the county. Drive roads in San Joaquin folks, figure it out! Or maybe you should read a real newspaper every now and then.

  9. Mery Action Jacksen says:

    Brem is not the person to lead this City. He supports a road tax and who knows what other tax he supports. I’m tired of paying more taxes. The state and feds are going to give more money to cities to fix their roads.

  10. Kurt says:

    I agree with Mary Jackson. Brem is not the choice for Mayor. He will tax us and tax us and tax us. I think the City of Turlock should figure out how to fix the roads without taxing the citizens of our great town.

  11. Where's the $ says:

    I can assure you, the $ is not going towards “public safety”. There are fewer Officers working now than in 2008 and ALL of them are making 9% less than they were in 2008. So where is the $ going? And please don’t say anything about the Public Safety Building…if you know anything about how the budget works, no funding for that building came out of the general fund.

  12. Hay Jose says:

    How much of the budget is going to pensions? How much of every dollar spent on budget for salaries is going for ongoing pensions? We need Kurt Spycher and Ted Howze back. They will fix Mayor Lazars budget problems.

  13. Who hired Wasden? says:

    Would you like cheese & crackers with the whining. It’s the police union boys & fire fighting duos who are always complaining. We need more money. Our police yes, our fire fighters who are paid to eat, sleep, exercise & up their workload by going to every ambulance call…wish Howze & Spycher were back. Those two gave police & fire everything they wanted, to the tune of a 3 million dollar structural deficit. Let us separate the men from the boys.

  14. Guest S says:

    Like Alex Baldwin once said that he would leave the country if a certain president was elected. The thought of either of those two re entering politics in this city makes me nauseous.

  15. A little factual history says:

    3% @ 50 was the norm for nearly all public safety in California at the time. Turlock would not have been able to recruit had it not offered that pension. What was not the norm at the time or even now is 2.7% @ 55 which all other City Employees get. Tell me another City nearby that offered/offers that pension formula for non public safety?!? 3% @ 50 was signed into contract in the early 2000’s, prior to Spycher/Howze. 2.7% @ 55 was actually signed into contract when Spycher/Howze were in office (along with Mary Jackson and Lazar). Get your facts straight and your argument may have a little more merit. As for this structural deficit, if you look at the current budget, there is an alleged deficit of about 1.2 million, not the 3 million you allege. Further, the City has not had a 3 million dollar structural deficit except for perhaps in 2008 and that was one time. Look at the G.F. reserve, it has grown year after year, while your city has less public safety officers today than it did 6 years ago. I’m not saying public safety officers need a raise, but how else can you account for 6 Officers leaving to other agencies in the last 15 months, all the while the city can not recruit qualified applicants and fill their current vacancies? With the economy as bad as it is, why can no one get a job in Turlock? I guess there aren’t hundreds lined up to take the job after all, contrary to what Forrest White has stated.

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